Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Clean Bottle Runner: Review & Giveaway

I first discovered Clean Bottle during last year’s Tour de France. If you watched any of it, you may have seen this crazy huge Clean Bottle running around. Check out this video to see "bottle boy" in action (it's quite funny actually)...

As soon as I understood the concept behind Clean Bottle, I reacted as normally do when I learn about a simple yet ingenious new product – why didn’t I think of this before?! I could have become a millionaire!

The brilliance behind Clean Bottle is that both the top and the bottom unscrew for easy cleaning. No more nasty funk at the bottom of your bottle! All of the parts are BPA free and dishwasher-safe for even easier cleaning. To address the concern of leakage, the top and bottom have great seals that keep everything leak-free, and even the top valve doesn’t leak when it’s closed (unlike many of my other bottles). If your bottle does happen to leak, Clean Bottle will replace it as all of their bottles are guaranteed for life.

This year Clean Bottle came out with a new handheld bottle that is designed for runners. The Clean Bottle Runner is the only handheld out there with a pouch big enough to hold an iPhone (or smart phone/music player the size of an iPhone). In addition, there are also little straps on the hand strap to hold a gel. Inside the pouch is a slot for a credit card or ID. If you like to listen to your tunes while you run, there is a hole for your headphones and “vents” at the bottom if you prefer to play your music through your speakers (this is what I do so that I can still hear surrounding noises).

I had been using another handheld for a while and the elastic around the top was starting to come apart. The pocket on my other bottle was also not big enough for my iPhone, so that meant that I also had to strap on my iFitness belt every time I went for a run. While I do love my iFitness belt, I don’t like having to always wear it. Seeing as how I always like to run with my phone for safety reasons, The Runner seemed like a perfect fit for me.

My first impression of The Runner was that it's a little on the heavy side. With 22 ounces of water capacity and the ability to carry my phone, it is significantly heavier than my other handheld (most of the extra weight is due to my phone). This is really the only drawback I have found, and it’s something that I have actually gotten used to as I've used it more. Overall, I really love my Clean Bottle Runner and I take it with me on almost every run now. Sometimes I struggle to get my phone into the pouch, however this is because my phone also has a slim case on it. It still fits in there just fine and I can even put my phone in a plastic bag if there is a threat of rain on my run. The plastic cover over the phone also allows you to use the phone while it’s in the pouch, so you don’t have to bother with taking it in and out of the pouch to change the song or respond to a text message. I love being able to get my bottle really clean and I also love that the bottle can be used without the holder.

If you're still curious about the Clean Bottle Runner, here is an in-depth look at it from the inventor of Clean Bottle:

The Clean Bottle Runner makes a great addition to the plethora of hydration tools on the market and it would make a great addition to anyone’s collection due to the fact that it can accommodate a smart phone and the bottle can be cleaned so easily. The price is reasonable at $24.95 for the bottle and holder, or you can get two bottles plus a holder for $29.80. A bottle by itself is $9.95, or you can buy three bottles and get one free for $29.85. Qualify for free shipping when your order is over $35.

Clean Bottle is a really great company with awesome customer service.  Also, 10% of their profits are donated to eco and cycling friendly charities. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Want to win a Clean Bottle Runner for yourself? Here’s how to enter…
  1. Be a follower of Sweat Junkie (one entry) – Just click the “Join this site” button on the right if you're not already a follower. Leave me a comment saying that you’re a follower.
  2. Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog (one entry per day that you share it – just leave a comment each time you share it).
  3. Earn one entry per dollar that you donate to support me in this weekend’s Tour de Cure. Right now I’m $60 away from meeting my fundraising goal! Here’s how this will work:
  • Click here to donate: http://main.diabetes.org/goto/lehartman
  • Come back here and leave a comment saying “I donated!” – you do not have to tell everyone how much you donated, but PLEASE make it easy for me to match up the name associated with your comment and the name associated with your donation (you can provide a comment with your donation or e-mail me - [email protected] - if you don’t think it’s clear).
  • If you have previously donated and you would like to be entered into this giveaway, please leave a comment saying “I already donated!”

All means of entering are optional but obviously you have to do at least one of them to be entered.  The more entries you have, the greater your chances of winning. Entries will be accepted until 12 AM EST on Sunday, June 3, 2012. A winner will be picked using Random.org and announced in a blog post sometime on Monday, June 4. If the selected winner does not e-mail me ([email protected]) with a mailing address within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected and announced.

Fine print: I purchased my Clean Bottle Runner and the Clean Bottle Runner that I am giving away. I was not asked to purchase these items, to write this review, or to do this giveaway. This giveaway is open to US residents only because I don't want to pay a million dollars to ship it elsewhere. No purchase/donation is necessary to enter the giveaway.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yes, I'm alive

I've had quite a bit of a dry spell with blogging recently. At first, my lack of blogging was due to being incredibly busy.  Now that I have a little bit of extra time on my hands (let me emphasize - very little bit), I can't think of much to write about.  During the day I'll think about something that would make a good post, but then I either forget about it or realize that it wouldn't have been that great of a post anyways (kind of like this one right now...).

I'm not apologizing for this because a) this is my blog, and b) no one wants to hear excuses. Rather, I'm just stating the obvious in case any one was thinking hmmm, I wonder where Lauren is and why she isn't posting much (because I am positive that everyone is wondering where I am...).

I really do appreciate everyone who follows and reads this blog, whether or not you ever leave a comment. And to be honest, I really miss blogging and interacting with many of you.  So while I can't promise that this blog is going to offer anything amazing anytime soon, it is my hope that I'll be able to gradually get back on the wagon.  Just know that I'm not going to post something just to post something, so if you don't hear anything, it's because I don't have much to say (or I've gotten busy again). Anyways, here's a few updates/random thoughts, in bullet point fashion since I don't have my blogging mojo right now.

  • Last week I transitioned from the 20-24 age group to the 25-29 age group.  Yep. I'm a quarter of a century old now.  Looking at race times, I know I have a challenge ahead of me...the 25-29 ladies are fast
  • I used some of my birthday money to buy an Endorphin Warrior training bracelet.  It says "COURAGE" on it and I really love it. I'm too lazy to get up an take a picture of it right now, but it looks cool.
  • I also used some of my birthday money to buy real clothes (as in, not exercise clothes - whoa!) and a new bathing suit. 
  • With the rest of my birthday money I am hoping to buy a new running skirt and some CW-X compression shorts once they are back in stock.
  • I have been lifting weights a lot recently (and by "a lot" I mean more than I was, which was close to none) and I have really been enjoying it. I like feeling strong.
  • Two weekends ago I rode 30 miles on Saturday and ran 10 miles on Sunday. Running that much the day after riding 30 miles was really hard and my legs did not want to go fast at all.
  • I didn't run at all the week after that and then I ran 10 miles this past weekend and it was great! We were planning on riding on Sunday but I wasn't feeling it.
  • Speaking of riding, I just ordered some Hoo Ha Ride Glide. I'm pretty excited about it.  
  • I don't have any (running) races on my schedule.  I'd like to do some shorter races, but I don't feel like forking over the cash right now. 
  • My back has been feeling really good recently.  I hope I didn't just jinx it.
  • I got really sunburned at the pool this weekend. Yes, I wore sunscreen. No, I didn't reapply often enough. 
  • This is the last bullet point and I don't have a good way of ending this post so I'll end it with some random questions (and my answers):
    • Do you ever have a "dry spell" with blogging? Yes, see above. 
    • What has been your favorite age group so far? In your current age group, do you feel like you are a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond? I haven't actually raced in my new age group yet, but I definitely feel like I'm a little, slow fish in a big, fast pond.
    • Do you like birthdays? Yes. Who doesn't?
    • Are you good about always wearing sunscreen? I try, but I could definitely be better about it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

April 2012 in Review

April went by so. stinkin' fast. Just like this blog post is going to be.

Running Miles in April: 62
Cycling Miles in April: 71

Running Miles YTD: 242
Cycling Miles YTD: 374

Races in April: 

In other news: 
  • I had signed up for a trail half this past weekend (Trail Nut).  I started getting sick last Monday with a really bad cold.  I have never been that congested in my life!  I wasn't getting better very quickly so on Tuesday I e-mailed them asking to drop down to the 10K.  On Wednesday I couldn't really turn or tilt my head to the right.  My chiropractor suggested that I not do the race and I agreed.  I ended up not doing it at all. 
  • We bought a new house! (pending home inspection this week *fingers crossed!*)
  • Our current house goes on the market this week.  Needless to say we've been crazy busy getting it cleaned and de-cluttered. I'm concerned about living in it while trying to sell it at the same time, especially with a cat who likes to occasionally leave various kinds of "presents" on the floor. 
  • I didn't run, ride, or lift weights AT ALL last week between my cold, my neck, and all of this house stuff. It happens.
  • Andrew and I have a 50 mile ride coming up in a month and I'm a little concerned about it.  Not only have we not done much training (I've never ridden past 35 miles...), but we also both have to raise $200 for Tour de Cure.  Not that I don't want to raise money for it, but I don't have a lot of time/energy to devote to doing so right now. I've raised $105 from family, so I have $95 left to go! If you would like to donate, here's the link: http://main.diabetes.org/goto/lehartman.